We have included this film in our program to illustrate the work and
contributions of our star Helen Gibson.
"The Governor's Special" is a short action drama from a serial by
the name of "The Hazards of Helen", featuring Helen Gibson. This is
episode 76 from a total of 119 weekly one reel films produced by Kalem, showing
just how popular this serial was in 1914-1917. The first 48 films starred Helen
Holmes, the remaining 71 starred Helen Gibson. They both played heroines that
were independent and adventurous, resolving dangerous situations with quick
thinking. Their acting was very physical and they performed their often very
dangerous stunts. It is believed to be the longest film series in the silent
era and one of the longest ever. Very few of the films survive, and we are
happy to be able to show this rarity to our esteemed viewers.
The film is directed by James Davis from a story by Edward T. Matlack. In this
episode Helen Gibson performs one absolutely breathtaking stunt, which just
shows how dangerous it was to act for silent film pioneers, especially for
stuntmen and stuntwomen.
There is a twist to the plot, and Helen Gibson not only has to save her
governor from mortal danger, but also the life of somebody close to her, who
has been sentenced to die without guilt.
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